Sunday, October 05, 2008

Foridden

Brought to you by Sunday Scribblings

When I was a kid the whole wide world was contained in the confines of our small town. It held everything we could ever wish for. It was the 1960's and the world was still slightly innocent and wholly uncorrupted. Life was bicycle rides, snow days, idyllic days at the local swimming pool, Halloween without razor blades but nickles given out by the ex-Governor of the state along with home made popcorn balls, walking downtown to purchase a cherry coke, the corner grocery store with penny candy jars,gigantic leaf piles we could burn in town and kick ball games in the lone empty lot in the neighborhood.

It was okay to jump on your bike and truck several miles across town. My brother tells of an ongoing BB gun game where he and several of his buddies would dress in layers and layers of padding and chase each other around town for target practice. Life was good. We felt safe and unthreatened. Except maybe by the Russians dropping the bomb on us, even then we were well educated at school on how to survive a nuclear attack (squatting under your school desk...what if you are st home? Bomb shelters.)

There were several places you had to beware of. Like the park downtown. That is where the "bums" hung out. Bums were bad and to be avoided at all costs. Naturally we always flocked to the park when ever we could on the look out for the these deviant bums. I never saw one. I never met another kid who did either. I have to think that maybe once upon a time some kid got flashed or something similar.

But, the worst of the worst, never to go, always FORBIDDEN and off limits, and you got your butt spanked but good if you got caught at this mother of all evil places in my home town........

THE TUNNEL! (as viewed from the church!!!!)



The tunnel was an abandoned train track that went under main street. The tracks were removed and the jungle had taken over.

The temptation was so powerful that resistance was impossible. The tunnel was next to the small Catholic school I attended. An entrance to the top of the tunnel was directly accessible across the street, next to the church, on the corner where we waited for the afternoon buses to take us home.

How many times and how many hundreds of kids climbed on top of the forbidden curved dome of the top, lay down and dangle their heads over and look into the black dank smelly cavern of doom and destruction. The darkness promised adventure and hidden treasure. No kids ever fell over that I ever heard of, and I would have heard.

To access the tunnel you had to enter the abandoned track by the old depot located a block from Main Street. The homes on Broadway backed up to the overgrown train track. Many eyes followed you if you attempted to approach the opening from that angle. The only way to make an unobserved approach was to slide down the back (because the bank to the track bed became steeper as you drew closer) was at Flea's house. (His parents worked).

There were bugs, albino crayfish, spiders and poison ivy, and a drainage hole that dripped and spewed chilly clear water at all times.

If it were not forbidden, it would have been ignored. But the forbidden part....Oh how sweet.

10 comments:

Donna said...

I enjoyed this. I was a child of the 40's and 50's, and even more things were forbidden back then. Although the times did not seem as perilous.

Cynthia said...

You made me hungry for an adventure.

Chris said...

I loved this post! It reminded me of so many things about my childhood. Very enjoyable trip, thanks for reviving the memories.

Tressa Bailey said...

So cool! When I was a kid it was Pinhook lagoon. I got empitago (spelling?) every time I showed up....which meant I was contagious most of the summer!

keiths ramblings said...

You took me right back. I don't remember anything being forbidden - we went out to play all day and when we were hungry we went home! I'm sure there were just as many 'dangers' but we weren't aware of them. Happy days.

Wil said...

This explains much about your psyche, HG. Forbidden delights...

Beth said...

Sounds like a Stephen King book waiting to happen!

Beth

Far Side of Fifty said...

The 60's were an age of innocence...well until the late 60's anyway. I loved your tunnel story..apparently you spent some time there! :)

Sweet Talking Guy.. said...

I just love secret railway tracks etc. A forbidden tunnel, Fantastic!

ada said...

Great post.Brings me back to my childhood and "the alley" we were forbidden to go anywhere near. As irony would have it, years later we moved in to a house with "the alley" right in our backyard.Needless to say it wasn't what the hype made it out to be!
Ada